The University conducts audits based on AS/NZS 4801 “Occupational Health and Safety Management System – specifications and guidance for use”, which is a national standard for occupational health and safety management.
Self-auditing is a useful way to establish the degree of compliance and to encourage implementation of corrective actions where necessary. Its use demonstrates a pro-active approach to safety management through measurement, evaluation and management review. In addition, it demonstrates a will to meet a fundamental legislative requirement that, as far as practicable, the University provides and maintains safe workplaces, plant and systems of work. The topics which are used in the UWA Internal Audit Program may also be used to conduct a self-audit. They are divided into those topics which are included in every safety audit and additional topics which may be appropriate to the audited workplace. For further information regarding the use of the UWA Safe System of Work and the important role of Health and Safety Committees please see section "3. Audit questions" on this page.
Safety and Health introduced the UWA Internal Audit Program in 2004. The objective of the audit program is to determine whether there are adequate and effective control measures in place to ensure that:
The Auditee is the part of the University to be audited. This would typically be a Faculty or Division or affiliate.
Workplaces would typically be Schools, centres or units within the Faculty or equivalent.
This is conducted by a formally qualified lead auditor in consultation with representatives of each workplace to be audited (i.e. School Managers, Associate Directors or equivalent and Health and Safety Representatives). It is also necessary for the Head of School, Director or equivalent to be present to help specify and endorse the audit plan. The auditor will explain the requirement for presentation of documentation in accordance with the UWA Safe System of Work (See Task and Activity Planning Toolkit). This greatly assists in completing the audit whilst encouraging the workplace to examine its own processes and make adjustments where necessary to move closer to legal compliance.
The audit is conducted over several days. The auditor can interview anyone in the workplace who may be able to provide on-the-spot confirmation or other information relating to the audit. The auditor can request any document required as evidence of work health and safety legislative compliance.
This is attended by all those who were involved in the pre-audit planning meeting including management from each audited workplace (i.e. School Managers, Associate Directors or equivalent) and also the Head of School, Director or equivalent.
This is forwarded by UWA Safety and Health to the School Managers, Associate Directors or equivalent to establish agreement on the audit findings and is normally completed within two weeks. The auditors may have identified shortfalls which can be easily and quickly corrected. During the audit discussions these will have been pointed out to offer an opportunity to apply immediate corrective actions and achieve compliance against some audit questions.
The auditors will divide outstanding required corrective actions into two categories to be completed before pre-arranged review meetings as follows:
The final report will be forwarded by UWA Safety and Health with additional copies to the Dean and Executive Director. The senior management has overall resourcing and budgetary control for the audited workplaces and is therefore well placed to influence overarching corrective measures where required.
The UWA internal audit program uses the AS/NZS 4801 Audit Record and Topic evaluations 2,3,4 and 5 (below) as a minimum.
A workplace committee which oversees and coordinates health and safety provides direct written evidence of diligence in health and safety management through its published minutes. An audit against the AS/NZS 4801 standard can sight evidence of many aspects of compliance by reference to this important source of centralised information.
The UWA Safe System of Work is designed to ensure that workplace safety management, through use of the Task and Activity Planning Toolkit is properly addressed. In planning some specific types of work there are legal constraints which are managed as supplementary planning processes. These often involve formal applications to expert committees for their assessment and permission to proceed. Management of physical safety in the workplace safety still remains the responsibility of supervisors and managers and is to be operated according to the UWA Safe System of Work. Existing processes are to be reviewed to bring their methodologies close to the planning processes described. This may present an additional opportunity to separate out management of workplace safety from the subject specific considerations of expert advisory committees.
Topic 1 - 'Emergency preparedness and response' is integral to the 4801 question set but it is supplied separately here to enable independant use as required. Evaluations 6 to 12 are used as appropriate for the workplace.